Extended deadline! Mobilizing alternative futures: Masters and PhD students essay competition

Write a 2,000 word reflective, forward-thinking essay on how to mobilize climate and energy transformations towards a sustainable future.

Win travel and stay to participate in ‘Beyond Oil: Mobilizing alternative futures’, 25-27 October, at the University of Bergen’s SpaceLab. We will cover economy-class expenses to bring you to Bergen.

Present your essay to an international audience of sustainability researchers and practitioners.

One award each to the best essay by a Masters and a PhD student.

Submit all essays to Karin.Lillevold@uib.no

Include your institutional affiliation (Masters/PhD student, programme, department and university).

Deadline for essay submission is 18th June 2017. (NB! Extended deadline from 31st May)

Results will be communicated on 30th June 2017.

Essays will be published on the SpaceLab website and put on public display during the Beyond Oil conference: this includes the two winning essays as well as some of the best runner-ups that speak particularly well to the conference theme.

Spread the word. Encourage fellow students working on sustainability transformations to participate.

Good luck. We look forward to welcoming the winners at Beyond Oil in Bergen this October!

Read the detailed call for essays below.


Call for essays

Society is inevitably moving beyond oil. The direction that this transformation will take is still highly uncertain. Transformations to societies beyond oil involve deliberate choices that lead to different outcomes with regard to power, justice, inequality and human-nature relations.

A task for social scientists is to analyze the structures of inertia and capacities for change in current societies, and highlight the multiple futures that these make possible.

As research moves from studying problems to proposing pathways and solutions, we therefore need to critically interrogate the particular solutions that are proposed and how they relate to the futures we wish to mobilize. As academics, we also need to consider our own role in transformations – whether as catalysts, participants, critics, or knowledge producers.

Essays can address one or more of the following themes or take up a cross-cutting topic pertinent to the Beyond Oil conference on mobilizing alternative futures:


Capacities for change: theorizing the inertia and instability of energyscapes

How can emerging capacities for change be conceptualized with reference to the relative inertia and instability of contemporary energy landscapes? The topic calls for essays that explore socio-material relations of energyscapes and that critically discuss opportunities for change.


Mobilizing and/or scaling climate and energy transformations

A common point of departure in transformation research is that experiments and small initiatives may lead larger systemic change. We invite essays that examine the mechanisms, pathways and relations through which such initiatives are mobilized or scaled. What exactly is mobilized, where, when, how, and by whom?


Politicizing urban life: Power and inequality in transformations

With what effect and for whom are climate and energy transformations mobilized in cities? How can we critically approach the nature of urban life in sustainable urban futures? The topic calls for essays that critically approach potential urban futures with a sensitivity to the power and inequality of climate and energy transformations.


Innovative methods and processes for research, learning and governance

Current strategies for research, education, and governance may be unsuitable to deal with the complexity and urgency of many social and environmental challenges. How does this affect the role of academia and researchers? We particularly invite essays that discuss and/or demonstrate new methodologies for conducting research, facilitating learning and/or governance.


See more about the Beyond Oil conference at http://spacelab.w.uib.no/conference-beyond-oil/

We have a call for papers with an extended deadline of 15th May 2017. Send in an abstract as well!